The final breakthrough came in 1965, just one year before Hidden Hills debuted as a premier, private golf course. Through the efforts of many invested citizens led by Robert Feagin, now known as the founder of the Greater Jacksonville Open and John Tucker, JAGA President from 1965-1967, a first-rate professional golf tournament was planned and held for the first time in Jacksonville at Selva Marina Country Club in 1965, now known as Atlantic Beach Country Club. The event was held there until 1967, after which it moved to Deerwood Country Club.
After three successful years at Deerwood, the event then moved to the newly-built course of Hidden Hills Golf and Country Club. Hidden Hills would provide better tournament facilities and sponsor spaces for businesses to host customers, a practice that became a standard in future golf tournaments.
The Greater Jacksonville Open tournament, the precursor to THE PLAYERS Championship, was held at Hidden Hills for 3 consecutive years (1970-1972), with featured winners of the tournament including Gary Player, Tony Jacklin and Don January, before moving to its current location, Sawgrass — but not before securing its name in TPC history.
From its championship tees to its majestic pines and oak-lined fairways, Hidden Hills is a true tournament course, even years after its Greater Jacksonville Open tenure. A location sculpted into a hilly terrain with elevation and rolling fairways not typically seen in Florida, this historic course is still one of the most unique in North Florida.